IF NANCY DOESN’T WAKE UP SCREAMING, SHE DOESN’T WAKE UP AT ALL…
The quality of slasher pics improved with this story about Freddy Krueger, a scarred murderer with knives attached to his fingers who has the ability to kill teens in their sleep. The character made Robert Englund famous, his appearance now instantly recognizable, much like Boris Karloff’s monster. Wes Craven (in his commercial breakthrough) takes great advantage of this horrific figure in a series of clever and terrifying assaults; the bathtub sequence is memorable. The actors do OK, with a young Johnny Depp shocking us in a very unusual bedroom scene. But the ending is a desperate way to wrap things up.
1984-U.S. 92 min. Color. Written and directed by Wes Craven. Cast: John Saxon (Donald Thompson), Ronee Blakley (Marge Thompson), Heather Langenkamp (Nancy Thompson), Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Johnny Depp… Robert Englund.
Trivia: Craven based the appearance of Freddy Krueger on that of a hobo who frightened him when he was a kid. He got the killer’s name from the child who used to bully him in school. Followed by six sequels, starting with A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985), as well as a TV show, Freddy’s Nightmares (1988-1990). Remade as A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010). In Freddy Vs. Jason (2003), Freddy clashed with Jason Vorhees, the killer from Friday the 13th.